Americans may want to think they are not accountable to anyone; God would beg to differ. We will not prove spiritually healthy or mature unless we prove willing to live with accountability before God and our fellow believers.
Christians are to pursue peace and holiness, and to avoid roots of bitterness. We have come to Zion, not Sinai; we must listen to God and be thankful for receiving an unshakable Kingdom!
Looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled; lest there be any fornication, or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright. For ye know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for a change of mind in his father, though he sought it diligently with tears. For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that no word more should be spoken unto them; for they could not endure that which was enjoined, If even a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned; and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said,
“I exceedingly fear and quake:”
But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape who turn away from him that warneth from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying,
“Yet once more will I make to tremble not the earth only, but also the heaven.”
And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain. Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe: for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:15-29).
“Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me. And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me” (John 17:20-23).
The actual substance and purpose of Jesus’ prayer before His Father for His followers was for their unity with one another. Salvation has never been merely about an individual and his or her God; God desires us to be reconciled to each other as well as to be reconciled in Him. We do well to work together in the Body of Christ!
Christians are to be in the world, but not of it. How does that work? What is the Christian’s responsibility to the world, both as an individual and as the church?
Peter speaks of Christians as in exile in 1 Peter. What does life look like as an exile? Its primary feature is love for one another, for we are the ones who are there for each other and who will endure.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently (1 Peter 1:22).
Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king (1 Peter 2:17).
Above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
We are thankful that Del Scott, an elder of the Studebaker Road church of Christ in Long Beach, California, proved willing to meet with us and discuss the work of the eldership in shepherding a congregation. We hope you find the discussion profitable.
God provided on Mount Moriah / Zion. God made His name to dwell there. In a very real sense He still does to this day. Will we come to Mount Zion and dwell eternally with God?
God has given the church many responsibilities. It is up to the members of the congregation to meet them. As we sow, thus we shall reap.
When Christians gather together, a lesson is preached. Why does preaching take place in an assembly? What explains its prominence? Join us as we discuss preaching as an act of the assembly.
Christians came together on the first day of the week to break bread. The Lord’s Supper defines our gathering; it also exemplifies it. Let us consider the importance of the Lord’s Supper in the assembly.